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LokiRN's Profile

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Are expensive/gourmet coffee beans worth it?

Take a look at the websites CoffeeGeek and HomeBarista (HB for espresso, techniques and machines) for lots of info and good forums. CG has info re the whole process- growers to auction lots/ professional tastings to grade the auction lots/ boutique roasters with tasting notes of many coffees by independent tasters/ DIY roasting/ storing, grinding and brewing methods to achieve best results.

Lots of quality info and quality beans to try and see for yourself. Interesting to compare your tasting notes to the "professionals". I've found many nice coffees thru CG. Also, watch for "roasted on" dates vs "best by" dates and get fresh ones.

Good Luck and enjoy.

Feb 14, 2014
LokiRN in General Topics

Cochon 555- any Hounds going?

Cochon is a competition btw 5 chef- each cooking a heritage breed pig nose to tail. Attendees get to try everything. Other events also included. We will be in Boston a few days sightseeing/visiting relatives and will try our first Cochon. Anyone else going to the Boston event?

Any suggestions for some eateries that carry heritage breeds?

I saw "The Salty Pig" in Back Bay. It looks worth a try- any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

Mar 19, 2013
LokiRN in Greater Boston Area

Las Vegas, Japanese, Sushi Off Strip

Hello. We will be in Vegas for a week in May and are looking for a couple of good choices as far away as Henderson. Preliminary gleaning of various sites has revealed many off strip possiblities for lunch or dinner. Please suggest best of these if you have been- or others as you wish. Izakaya and /or sushi. We will be staying at the south end of the strip and have a car. Will probably hit 3 or 4 places.





Ichiza Sake House

Sushi Loca

Yama Sushi

Yummy Grill



I Love Sushi

The Ka


Thanks in advance for any info.

Apr 04, 2012
LokiRN in Las Vegas

Cheeses, sausage, jerky?

Thank you for the great replies.

I'll save the addresses to enter into the navi.


Aug 17, 2011
LokiRN in Phoenix

Cheeses, sausage, jerky?


We will be in AZ for 9 days- Phx, Flagstaff, Sedona, GCNP and would like to grab some snacks for travel and evenings with wine and cheese(and cards).

Any suggestions where to purchase gourmet cheeses? Source for fresh breads?

Also, we would like to find some good local jerky and sausages (esp landjaeger) if available?

Thanks for any suggestions.


First time in Phoenix. Will be in driving around town for a day and a half for sightseeing and trying some restaurants. Varied locations not a problem.

Aug 17, 2011
LokiRN in Phoenix

Tampa - Hidden Gems?

Yes, TSB is still there. Closed on Sundays.

Apr 01, 2010
LokiRN in Florida

Tampa/ nearby - Fine Dining

Thanks everyone for the suggestions. Monday night(3/15) we went to Ocean Prime.

Appetizers- Ahi Tuna Tartar, Avocado, Ginger Ponzu
Sweet Chili Point Judith Calamari

Main----- Park Farms Amish Chicken, Asparagus, Lemon Pan Jus
Seared Tuna, Tangerine Spinach Salad, Soy Butter Sauce

Three very good- especially the roast chicken- would recommend them. Seared tuna was average. Service below expectations.

Restaurant was crowded and noisy. Overall we both preferred the dinners we had at Roys, especially for the wine tasting dinners(not been to one in years).
It was a Monday night, so Armani's was not open. That was our first choice.
Sideberns and Mise en Place menus look tempting. Have not been to either in well over 10 years. They are now on the List.
Wasn't Mise located on Howard Ave years ago?

Mar 31, 2010
LokiRN in Florida

Tampa - Hidden Gems?

Oh I hope they have not closed!

Website is still active. I need to call- or better yet call in a to go order :-)

Mar 31, 2010
LokiRN in Florida

Cheese in Tampa

Another vote for Whole Foods at Dale mabry and I-275. Some favs include the truffle cheese and a semi-soft blue- St Agur(I think)

Mar 31, 2010
LokiRN in Florida

Tampa/ nearby - Fine Dining

Hello Hounds. Going to have a couple nice dinners occassions over the next few weeks and I am looking for some suggestions. Currently considering Ocean Prime and Aquaknox. Haven't looked up Armani's or Oystercatchers lately- I'll ck on them. Any comments? Any cuisine is ok but not particularly interested in steakhouses. Six Tables? Hapa? Black Pearl? Thanks for the help.

Mar 13, 2010
LokiRN in Florida

Tampa - Hidden Gems?

A couple of favs are:
Thai Sweet Basil on Northdale Blvd-- N Tampa- esp the Duck Curry, Orange-Plum duck and yum duck!
Pacific Thai Cuisine- Tampa Rd-- Oldsmar
Yummy House - love the salt and pepper calamari and s+p seafood
China Yuan... Yes both of them.. Apparrently there is another good chinese restaurant east of Yummy but I don't have the name handy. A malaysian friend of ours introduced us to YH and CY and recommended the third one also. My girlfriend went and said it was good.- Will post if I find the name.

Feb 27, 2010
LokiRN in Florida

DT Tampa/ Spain, Fly, Cafe Dufrain?

Hello everyone,

We went to Taps 7/18 at 11pm for a few appetizers and some beer, The menu was mostly appetizers , salads and some sandwiches . Downtown prices $10-13 for appetizers. The lump crab and avocado dip was excellent. The ahi fresh rolls w/ spicy chili(?) pineapple dipping sauce were very good but the rolls were cut poorly. Rather than cutting in half the rolls were cut on a sharp bias and tended to fall apart when picked up. These appetizers were more flavorful than those we tried at Twisted Bamboo Bistro in my opinon.

Wines- approx 40 on tap with listed prices 15 to 320 per bottle. Available by the ounce or glass.. Ex '04 opus one $320 per bottle, 15/ oz, 75/glass. Did not try any wines this visit.

Beer- approx 25 on tap at the time with 200(?) plus bottles available. I was unfamiliar with most of the breweries listed and the some of staff wasn't familiar enough with the various beers to to suggest one between A and B. But lots of beers to try.

Would return for the quality of food and maybe try a few wines and some more beer.

Regards, Mike

Jun 22, 2008
LokiRN in Florida

DT Tampa/ Spain, Fly, Cafe Dufrain?

Thanks for the replies toocatt and rikkikm,

Taps sounds great since several of us enjoy wine and beer. I will pass it to the group with Spain and Thai Corner.

The GF and I were at the hospital all night when our friend decided to have her baby a few days early- so we may not make the dinner. Maybe Thai Corner if there is time for a small bite..

Ah yes, The Hub...... Was there once ten yrs ago at 8am after a night shift. Exactly as you describe. Once was enough :-)

Rikkikm, I'm sorry to hear the nightscene has not changed much from what I remember. Our 3 maybe 4 events in DT during the past 10 yrs have been directly to and from either TBPAC or Channelside for that reason.

Will report on any dinner results. Thanks for the heads-up re traffic/parking.

Regards, Mike

Jun 18, 2008
LokiRN in Florida

DT Tampa/ Spain, Fly, Cafe Dufrain?


Browsing info on various boards and came up with these 3 as places try in downtown. A group is going for dinner and to see Eddie Izzard. So dinner first, then maybe drinks after.
Any other suggestions for good food or nay-say on above choices? Nationality not important for food choices just looking for quality food..
Any martini bar type suggestions? Thanks for any info.

Regards. Mike

Jun 17, 2008
LokiRN in Florida

Has anyone been to Twisted Bamboo in Oldsmar (Tampa)?

GF and I went there for lunch a week ago. Sampler appetizer platter w/1 crab cake, 2 coconut shrimp, 3 steamed dumplings, calamari, 2 spring rolls with 4 dipping sauces-- tasty, would order again. Did not care for the tart key lime based sauces for the calamari. Burger ( "american kobe")plate- cooked MR as ordered also good but for $12 .. I would just as soon have a good burger for smokey bones bbq for 8. Drinks were so-so for $9 each-- zombie and mai-tai. Prefer drinks at Roys. Mai-tai at crabby bills has more flavor for less $..
We liked the quality of the food and will return to try dinner.

Regards, Mike

P.S. It is located in the same center as the Melting Pot.

Jun 17, 2008
LokiRN in Florida